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Plan Review Process

After you have determined the type of approval required for your project, and have obtained any required discretionary approvals, you are ready to begin the plan review process. Although there are exceptions in processing reviews for certain projects, the guidelines that generally need to be followed include:

  1. Prepare and gather the necessary construction/map documents. Keep a copy for your records. See Project Submittal Requirements.
  2. Determine fees and/or deposits required to be paid at the time of initial project submittal.
  3. Image of Cellular Phone Call for an appointment, at (619) 446-5300, or walk-in to the 3rd floor of the Development Services Center located at 1222 First Avenue in Downtown San Diego.
  4. Visit the Check-In Counter and specify the type of submittal you will be making:
    • "Engineering" for grading, public right-of-way permit, or mapping.
    • "Building" for building permits that include structural calculations and retaining walls.
    • "Over-the-Counter" for certain minor building projects, standard public right-of-way improvements, and traffic control plans.
    Check-In staff will verify your appointment, add you to the queue, and direct you to the appropriate waiting area.
  5. When you meet with the staff member for your appointment, submit your plans for review.
  6. Staff performs a completeness review. It is necessary to evaluate all projects being submitted to ensure that all of the required information is provided to ensure an accurate and thorough review of your project. In most cases the completeness review can be done while you wait. Be prepared to answer questions about your project. Some projects will need to go through a Submitted Completeness Review (buildings exceeding 3 stories and projects including maps). The Submitted Completeness Review allows staff more time to review the plans and documents for the required detail, customize the project set up, and determine the number of copies needed for plan review. After the Submitted Completeness Review, staff will notify the applicant via email, phone, fax, or US Mail, whether the application is ready to be submitted or whether additional information or clarification is required.
  7. Once "deemed complete" and ready for full submittal, your project is distributed for review. Over-the-Counter (OTC) projects are reviewed while you wait.
  8. Plans are reviewed by appropriate disciplines. If your plans are not approved by all reviewing disciplines in the first review, then you (or your Point of Contact) will receive review issues from reviewing disciplines within a few weeks of submittal. The first review of submitted projects typically take approximately 4 weeks. Reviewers will notify the Point of Contact when the plans, the Issues report (if not approved) and the Submittal Requirements report (if required to resubmit) are completed.

    If at any point in the review process you disagree with a code interpretation, just want some confirmation or to voice a concern, just ask for a second opinion. We guarantee a second opinion on request... no questions asked.
  9. Pick up plans at Plan Pickup on the 3rd floor floor of the Development Services Center.
  10. When you have revised your plans, obtained additional requested documents, and/or paid any outstanding invoices, you can re-submit your plans. Plans can be re-submitted to all disciplines at once, or individually, to accommodate the schedules of you and your consultants.
  11. Reviewing disciplines will specify method of review:
    • "Submit" indicates that your next submittal must be delivered to the 3rd floor of the Development Services Center Area 3 via Check-In.
    • "OTC" indicates that plans should be delivered to a specified area and reviewed over the counter by any staff of the reviewing discipline available.
    • "Appointment" indicates that you should contact the appointment line at (619) 446-5300 or contact the reviewer directly to schedule an appointment for the re-submittal.
  12. Once approved by all disciplines, mylar versions of D-sheet grading and public improvement plans, as well as most mapping actions, will be required to be submitted. Reviewers will make specific requests for mylars.
  13. When all disciplines have approved the building plans or when the mylars have been signed, the appropriate permits and/or approvals will be issued.